I was 10 when Human Touch came out. The whole thing sounded kind of weird. But this song was an immediate favourite. It still is. Now, 28 years later, I can see why.
Hearing that opening line, ‘Ol’ catfish in the lake we called him Big Jim”, was about as foreign to me as anything I’d ever heard. What was a catfish? What did it look like? How big could it be? I knew what a lake was, but I don’t think I’d ever seen one in person. I never skipped church, I’d never gone fishing. Well, I had, with my dad, but it was always him doing everything and me watching.
That music and those words always transported me to a world that was completely alien to me. A swampy, mystic, warm place full of heartbreak and, for some reason, dread.
This is a Twilight Zone episode with very dark undertones. The trumpet seems to play the role of announcer of bad news, a Greek chorus belting out to the world the misfortunes of the protagonist.
And then, in the end, the protagonist thinks he’s found hope in the eyes of someone whose waters will quench his thirst. The poor bastard thinks he’s found love. But he seems to have forgotten for a moment that with every wish, there comes a curse. And when he remembers, when he realises how foolish he’s being, he can’t even finish the goddamn sentence.
Terrific song, terrific album; both criminally under-rated. And a terrific OP too!
"Yeah, I know I ain't nobody's bargain
But, hell, a little touch up
And a little paint"
Very true words. I felt caught in the act...
I was 45 when I heard it the first time, on a drive across the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, when my husband almost rear-ended an Indian in a pickup truck.
From the very start "With every wish" was a song that felt very superficial and "made up" to me. It didn't ring true to my ears. When I listen to it now for the first time in maybe 10-15 years it actually sounds better than I remembered it. That said, so does apparently the next song on the album,"Real Man", as well. 😏
Conclusion: For me the bar has been lowered as Bruce has grown older.
I prefer Lucky Town as an album. But, Human Touch, is a great song, that is often overlooked because of the fillers making up most of the album.
I don't spend enough time with "Human Touch". I need to play it today. I will report back.
I was 16 when Human Touch came out.
(this sentence is a great opener, and works kinda therapeutic).
And recently brokenhearted, so I Wish I Were Blind instantly grabbed my attention and was my favorite Bruce song for a very long time...
All I can say in my defense thirty years later is that beautiful Doreen was a very smart woman, and With Every Wish is now one my most listened to song from HT.
And jet another fine name I could have used... 🙂